Arrests made and weapons seized in Adur and Worthing day of action
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Police officers and staff from a number of teams have come together in Adur and Worthing for a day of action.
Officers and staff from the local prevention teams, community investigation team, intelligence teams and the tactical enforcement team came together for a day of action throughout Worthing and Shoreham on Friday (31 July) to engage with local communities, tackle county lines, anti-social behaviour and knife related crime using Home Office funding to specifically tackle knife crime and serious violence.
The day started with a knife sweep of the open spaces in Southwick with the search volunteers which thankfully revealed no dangerous objects or secreted weapons. Teams engaged in some high visibility work in and around Worthing train station working with rail enforcement and British Transport Police.
One team proactively targeted drug offences in the Worthing area resulting in five arrests.
Two men - aged 24 and 25 - were arrested for possession of offensive weapons following a proactive vehicle stop where a large knife, a club hammer and a pool cue were found in the vehicle. The 24-year-old was further arrested for driving without insurance and the 25-year-old was further arrested for causing actual bodily harm in connection with an unrelated incident. They have both been released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing.
A further two men - aged 19 and 26 - were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs at the rear of the train station. The 19-year-old was released without charge and the 26-year-old has been released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing.
Teams worked together during a police pursuit through the Lancing area which resulted in a 27-year-old man being located and arrested for failing to stop, dangerous driving, and failing a drugs wipe. He is still in custody.
Sergeant Scott Walters, who organised the day of action, said: “This is a fantastic example of our teams working together to get results for West Sussex.
“We are continuing to disrupt dealers who try to deal dangerous drugs across our communities and are targeting those who use children to sell drugs or those who buy drugs from children; we will investigate and prosecute you.
“The term ‘County Lines’ is used by police and partner agencies to refer to drug networks, both gangs and organised crime groups, from large urban areas such as London, who use children and young people and vulnerable adults to carry out illegal activity on their behalf.
“The successes seen yesterday are not just as of a result of one day of action, but months of ongoing hard work from the officers and staff and this work will continue 24/7.”
The early afternoon saw the arrival of the Home Office funded knife crime and violence reduction team which consisted of officers proactively targeting those that chose to carry or use weapons and knives, resulting in a further four arrests, nine searches, three weapons seized and 12 intelligence logs submitted.
Officers arrested a 51-year-old man for attempting to import prohibited weapons into the country. The man, from Littlehampton, has been released under investigation and other weapons removed following a police search. Enquiries are ongoing.
They then supported local officers with an assistance call from colleagues who were dealing with a report of a woman behaving violently in Broadwater and also assisting with transporting a suspect to custody.
An 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of attempted wounding with intent following a report of an attempted stabbing in Storrington. A sharply pointed article was located and seized. The suspect remains in custody at this time.
Sgt Walters added: “We are determined to get knives off our streets and reduce violent crime and the day of action is a great way to show our commitment to this using funds and resources allocated by the Home Office.
“Far too many lives have been affected by knife crime and our priority is to make Sussex a safer place to be.
"Our key priority is sending the message that carrying a knife is dangerous and can have serious consequences. Getting caught with a knife will change your life and we want to highlight the consequences of being caught carrying one.
“We are clear that carrying a knife does not make you safer, it puts you at more risk of becoming a victim and we would encourage anyone with concerns to reach out and seek help.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “This day of action is just one example of the targeted work that has taken place over the last year and the teams involved have achieved some really positive results.
“Sussex Police are putting extra boots on the ground and have invested heavily in preventative and proactive enforcement to keep our county safe, with officers also working hard to educate the public, especially young people, on the dangers of carrying knives.
“This activity should serve as a warning to those who wish to exploit and endanger Sussex residents that the police’s response will be swift and robust.”
If you have information about drug dealing, knife crime or any other issue in your local area - we want to know about it. Report information online or by calling 101.
Alternatively, you can report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or to Fearless.